Connected TV CE to surge to 2BN units by 2018
Michelle Clancy
The global installed base of connected TV devices (broadly defined as smart TVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, digital media adapters and set-top boxes) will double over the next five years, exceeding two billion units by 2018.

This is according to Strategy Analytics, which noted that IP connectivity is fast becoming ubiquitous. In fact, IP-enabled CE devices accounted for 87% of all CE devices shipped in 2013. In the United States, which has the highest level of ownership, the average is 7.7 devices, compared to a world average of 2.8.

"The growth in ownership of connected TV devices is having a profound effect on the way in which people access and consume media content on the TV set," said David Watkins, service director for connected home devices at the firm. "Furthermore they are helping to provide opportunities for companies outside of the traditional TV industry such as Google, Apple and Amazon to compete for a share of the TV audience."

Smart TVs are the top earner for connected CE. On a global scale, IP-enabled flat panel TVs are the most common connected TV device in living rooms today, occupying close to 30% of the installed base of such devices. And that is set to rise towards 50% by 2018.

"However, that is not to say that IP-enabled TVs will necessarily become the default device that consumers use to access OTT content as there will continue to be various device options available to consumers," said Eric Smith, analyst for connected home devices.

Connected devices are but a subset of the overall CE market of course; Strategy Analytics says that retail spend on consumer electronics products at large will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2017. The average global retail spend per household on all Consumer Electronics products grew 2.9% in 2013 reaching $485 billion.